9 easy ways to leverage AI in HR

From recruitment to employee engagement, the application of AI in HR is vast and transformative. So, in this article, we will delve into nine insightful tips on leveraging AI to elevate your HR practices.

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has taken the world by storm in 2023. Seemingly every application on the planet is implementing AI in some form to help sell their wares – from Microsoft’s Windows to Adobe’s Photoshop. 

Despite the proliferation of AI, some still fear that it is designed to replace humans in the workplace. However, as many are now finding out, AI is nothing to fear. In fact, when harnessed correctly, AI can enhance your performance and make light work of menial tasks. 

1. Ensure your job descriptions are set up to maximise quality applications

One of the most recognisable examples of AI in HR comes in the form of assisting with the recruitment process. Earlier this year, it was revealed that 99% of Fortune 500 companies are now using some form of automated tool to screen or rank candidates for hire, while the figure for other employers in the US stands at 83%. 

It’s likely that even more employers will hop onto the AI train when it comes to assisting with the recruiting process – with a wide variety of platforms now offering the technology to help reduce the workload for HR professionals.

At the very beginning of any recruitment process, it’s vital that the job description is set up in such a way that you are inundated with the best candidates possible for the job. While it’s possible to craft a job description using your knowledge of the role that is vacant, it’s not always easy to optimise this. 

Thankfully, AI can help. AI can help identify the right keywords and phrases that potential candidates are likely to use when searching for job openings, while simultaneously analysing job descriptions from competitors to identify industry trends and ensure that your job descriptions are competitive and up-to-date. 

Additionally, AI tools can scan job descriptions for biased language or phrases that may deter certain groups from applying, promoting a more inclusive recruitment process.

2. Get actionable insights into the applications you receive

If the job description has been written in such a way that you’re inundated with quality applications, now is the time you really want AI to step in and assist. 

With companies often receiving thousands of applications for each open position, it’s simply not realistic to ask the HR team to sift through each and every resume in full. Especially when larger companies can often have tens if not hundreds of open applications. 

Thankfully, the largest recruitment platforms already implement some form of AI to help shortlist candidates. Platforms such as Ideal or HireVue promise to automate the screening process, which saves time and ensures a fair, unbiased shortlisting. 

Meanwhile, some other platforms, such as Workable, promise to go further. It utilises AI to not only parse the resumes you’ve received as part of the application process, but it will also seek additional candidates by using the data from those applicants to search LinkedIn and other online resources for other relevant candidates. 

3. Speed up onboarding of new employees

So, you’ve sped up the process in which to find a new employee – but now you have to onboard them into the company. That process is already incredibly laborious with days of your time spent on onboarding, whether it’s organising new email accounts, ensuring the employee is acquainted with the company and its policies, or simply making sure the necessary paperwork has been filled.  

By leveraging AI in HR, it’s possible to automate many of these tasks. For instance, many of the more laborious processes, such as documentation verification and the creation of employee profiles in internal systems can be handled by automation.

It’s not just about reducing your workload. In fact, AI in HR could massively improve the onboarding experience for incoming employees. That’s because AI can analyse the new hire’s role, department, and personal preferences to create a personalised onboarding plan. This ensures a more engaging and relevant onboarding experience for each individual. The benefit of this is twofold – the employee should be able to get up to speed much quicker by allowing them to bypass training that is irrelevant to their specific role, while also reducing the chance of that employee deciding to leave during this initial process. 

Onboarding Image

4. Understand employee performance in real-time

Your new employee has been settling in well, but how are they performing in comparison to everyone else in the business? Utilising AI for performance management and feedback can potentially revolutionise traditional practices, making them more efficient, timely, and insightful.

One of the hardest and most time-consuming parts about analysing an employee’s performance is simply collating the various data points and then making sense of it all. Then multiply that by the number of employees in an organisation, and you can see why this can be a huge time drain for HR teams. 

Thankfully AI can streamline this process. Tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT can be fed both formal and informal data sources on an ongoing basis. That means it’s receiving data on an employee’s performance in real-time, rather than through scheduled check-ins throughout the year. 

Using that data, ChatGPT is able to not only summarise the employee’s performance but also offer actionable suggestions for managers to implement. This should in turn lead to a more productive performance review, and avoids any recency bias. 

5. Develop learning tools that empower the employee

So, you now know how an employee can improve their performance – and often, it can be through additional training. Thankfully, AI significantly enhances the capabilities of HR teams in deploying learning and development tools. 

Having learned what skills an employee may lack or could improve upon, it’s now imperative to make sure that they are given the right training to address those exact challenges. There are numerous tools available that can use AI to personalise learning paths, such as Coursera for Business or LinkedIn Learning.

The benefit of these tools is that AI can take the unique needs of that specific employee and ensure that the training content suits their skillset and is delivered in the most engaging way.  After they have received the train, one area to really engage employees is by offering an AI-generated quiz that ensures they have picked up the knowledge required.

Of course, that’s just one way you can use AI for learning and development – but the possibilities are quite literally endless. For instance, you can monitor training progress in real-time to get insights into how effectively the training is being absorbed and where further intervention may be needed. Additionally, AI could even be a powerful tool in predicting future training requirements before the lack of skills become a problem – helping your company stay ahead of the curve. 

AI in HR developing tools

6. Remove the need to answer the most commonly asked questions

Transitioning from the realm of personalised learning and development, the capabilities of AI in HR don’t stop there. As we delve deeper into the fabric of day-to-day operations, the frequency of queries and common questions posed by employees is inevitable. 

While the essence of curiosity and clarification is encouraged, the volume of repetitive inquiries can steer HR personnel away from focusing on strategic initiatives. This is where AI steps in to metamorphose the conventional FAQ approach into a dynamic, interactive, and instantaneous query resolution avenue.

By harnessing the prowess of Generative AI, which is used by OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, organisations are not just answering questions; they are creating a self-service knowledge repository that employees can tap into anytime, anywhere. 

This transition from reactive to proactive query handling is a testament to how AI is not merely a tool but a companion in fostering a culture of self-reliance and continuous learning. So, as employees grow through tailored training programs, they also have an AI-backed repository to clarify, learn, and adhere to organisational policies and procedures, thereby creating a seamless loop of learning, questioning, and evolving.

Generative AI can also answer in-depth questions that a traditional FAQ approach simply wouldn’t be able to handle. For example, an employee wanting to learn about the company’s travel policy may receive a generic response from the FAQ, detailing the approved travel companies and the allowable cost of booking travel. However, generative AI allows them to dig deeper and offers even more refined detail without digging into the handbook themselves. In this example, it may be what the minimum class of airline travel the company will book its employees in. If it’s in the handbook, the question can be answered by the generative AI. 

7. Encourage managers to improve their approach in dealing with employees

Generative AI isn’t just about answering questions related to company policy, but can also use wider datasets to help with almost any query. One emerging use case for AI in HR is the ability to help managers refine their interpersonal dynamics with employees.

Managers often find themselves at crossroads when dealing with sensitive issues like a spike in an employee’s absenteeism. Crafting a dialogue that is both understanding and constructive can be a tightrope walk. However, with the assistance of AI, managers can navigate these discussions with a more informed and balanced approach. By analysing historical data, performance metrics, and perhaps even wider industry trends, AI can help generate suggestions on how to initiate and steer such conversations in a manner that is respectful, understanding, yet focused on finding solutions.

For instance, AI could analyse an employee’s attendance patterns, correlate it with any life events or workplace changes, and suggest a tailored dialogue script for the manager. This script could provide a blueprint on how to express concern, offer support, and discuss any potential impact on the team or project, all while maintaining a tone of empathy and openness.

Moreover, AI can provide a continuous learning loop for managers by analysing the outcomes of these interactions and suggesting refinements for future conversations. This iterative feedback mechanism not only enhances the manager-employee relationship but also fosters a supportive and transparent work environment.

8. Navigate any potential retention risks and proactively address them

It’s a fact of nature that employees may eventually want to move on beyond an organisation – but for many businesses, a person’s resignation can really catch them off-guard. That’s why in the intricate dance of talent retention, timing and insight are everything. 

AI has the ability to analyse a plethora of data points – from engagement metrics, performance reviews, to even subtle indicators like changes in communication patterns or job role engagements. It’s then able to paint a holistic picture of employee satisfaction and potential disengagement.

This enables HR and managers to engage proactively with at-risk employees, opening channels of communication to address concerns, realign job roles, or offer developmental opportunities tailored to individual needs and aspirations.

When retention efforts segue into exit scenarios, AI continues to play a pivotal role in ensuring a constructive and insightful transition. Exit interviews are a goldmine of feedback, and AI can significantly enhance the process by structuring personalised interview questions based on the employee’s tenure, role, and circumstances surrounding their departure.

Furthermore, AI can analyse responses from exit interviews in real-time, identifying common themes, concerns, or suggestions, thereby providing immediate insights into potential areas of improvement. Over time, an AI-driven analysis of exit interview data can reveal trends and insights that may otherwise go unnoticed, aiding in refining retention strategies.

9. Unleash your creative potential

In the bustling realm of HR, carving out time for creative ideation amidst the routine operational whirlpool is a coveted yet elusive luxury. However, with the advent of AI, a new horizon of creative freedom beckons. AI acts as a catalyst, propelling the ideation process into a realm of boundless possibilities, while saving precious time.

At the heart of innovation in HR lies the ability to envision and orchestrate novel solutions to evolving organisational challenges. AI can be the springboard for such ideation. As many AI models have been built on vast data sets, it’s likely that your idea has already been tried before. That’s why it’s always worth asking a platform like ChatGPT questions such as “Can you give me 10 ideas of how to develop a more flexible benefits portfolio?”

While every suggestion from AI may not hit the mark, the volume and variety of ideas generated often harbour gems of innovation. The beauty lies in the amalgamation of AI-driven suggestions with human discernment, where HR professionals can sift through the AI-generated ideas, cherry-pick the most resonant ones, and refine them through a human lens of organisational understanding and empathy.

Learn how to maximise your HR potential using AI and ChatGPT

While these are just some of the many ways HR teams can benefit from the use of AI, we haven’t even scratched the surface as to what is truly possible. 

Thankfully, we’re hosting a workshop on October 26 and November 21, to help give you a proper introduction to AI and maximise your potential. 

If you would like to learn more about this upcoming workshop or to register, you can find out more here: Amazing innovation workshop – how to use ChatGPT in HR.